The Sinner Season 2 Episode 2 Review: A Dark Passenger

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Hey, that's not utopia!

On The Sinner Season 2 Episode 2 the deeper introduction to Julian's mother, Vera, made the series a lot more interesting.

Not only is Harry's hometown harboring a secret they'd just as soon stay in the closet, but Heather has a connection to it that will make her very happy she already roped the former hometown boy into a return.

A Whole New World - The Sinner

Communes are interesting in their own right, but cults are ever more fascinating.

Have you taken note of their rise in popularity during 2018? On ID there was People Magazine Investigates: Cults, and on A&E there was Cults and Extreme Belief, and on Paramount Network they had the limited series, Waco. 

Mosswood might be a cross of a cult and a commune with something supernatural or otherworldy tossed in for good measure. At least they might believe that to be the case.

Related: The Sinner Season 2 Episode 1 Review: To the Beginning

We already knew something strange was happening given the promotional materials for The Sinner Season 2 and the flashback scenes during The Sinner Season 2 Episode 1, but that place is backward!

Vera is strong and cunning, but not knowledgeable enough to know what she needed to get Julian out of the foster care system. Considering she's been living under the radar and getting away with things for as long as she has at Mosswood, that might be farfetched.

Proving Her Case - The Sinner Season 2 Episode 2

Is that an oversight on the part of the writers for the season or is it a part of setting out to prove that Vera is very capable of in her limited world but lost when it comes to ours?

The way the police chief handled the inquiry about going onto the property begs the question of whether any of the past disappearances have ever been investigated or if fear has allowed a questionable and likely criminal organization to get away with murder for decades.

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video

Vera knew enough to pack a bag for Julian should the police come knocking and told him to change his story, but she didn't know the police could question him without her approval as long as he was a ward of the state. 

What she does and doesn't know offers a lot to ponder, and that's not even what should be interesting here.

Adderall and Video Games - The Sinner Season 2 Episode 2

What made me suggest the possibility the grove folks at Mosswood might believe in the otherworldly or supernatural were both the comment Vera made to Harry and Heather, as well as what Heather found in the outbuilding.

Harry: Why do you think Julian would do something like this?
Vera: He's crazy, is that what you're thinking? Or he's been abused? Or that I pumped him full of Adderall and fed him junk food and video games? Or maybe he's just evil, is that it? My son is so far beyond anything you can understand, you have no idea.

What does she think Julian is that is so out of their realm? Is she talking about his dark passenger? 

Yes, I'm referencing Dexter because the guy always wanted somewhere he would fit in completely, and when Vera finally revealed what "work" was totally transforming people, he was the first person who came to mind. 

Shining a light on your shadow person doesn't sound transformative at all. In fact, I don't think everyone has a shadow person. Some people are themselves all the time and have no need to combine anything. They may tone themselves for different situations, but that's not denying yourself.

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The look on her face when Vera learned what Julian had done was one of recognition and fear as if she had expected him to do something like what he did to Adam and Bess and now she just has to deal with it.

Sorry about calling the dead woman Beth during the previous review, by the way. Her name was not noted anywhere. I fave it a shot!

Discussing the Local Lore - The Sinner Season 2 Episode 2

It's not cool that Heather is holding back her past with Mosswood from Harry. There will come an explosion point when he erupts at being left in the dark on that one.

Why would she deem the information off limits to him? If her father knows, there's no reason to hide it from Harry. She has inside info on the place that could be a help.

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Her friend disappeared in front of Heather's eyes, never to be seen again. The rock in the building with blood on it could be part of a sacrificial ceremony, especially since it is under a skylight. 

At the time, I wasn't paying attention to the night and what kind of a moon was above the girls when they were hiking, but it could wind up being important information.

Sneaking Away - The Sinner Season 2 Episode 2

Now think to what Vera said about Julian and how special he is. He's the only child at Mosswood because of their focus on the work. Something tells me he is imperative to the work, and his dreams are indicative of that.

Harry: Well, what time do you wake up?
Julian: When the sun rises.
Harry: Well, there's really no sleepin' in for this guy, huh?
Julian: No, I sleep mostly inside. Sometimes I sleep outside on warm nights.

The poor kid is being tortured merely by never being outside of the compound. Did you see his face as he watched the washing machine? He has no sense of humor. And now we know why he was fumbling around making tea. How would he know how to operate the machines?

And while it would make sense that Julian was "kidnapped" and taken by Adam and Bess with the hope of getting the kid out of the compound for good, that's too easy. Their conversations didn't make sense in an escape way. 

Why would Bess say it was "important" to her and Julian that they made it to Niagra Falls? And more importantly, who is "the sinner" of this season, anyway?

Related: Shooter Season 3 Episode 7 Review: Swing Vote

Even if Julian admittedly killed Adam and Bess, I don't think he's the sinner. Is that up for debate? It should be. 

What do you think is going on with Mosswood and in the town that they don't want to get involved? Have they been letting Mosswood get away with murder?

If you need to start from the beginning, watch The Sinner online and join us in a discussion before the next episode!

Part Two Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Sinner Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Remember who you are, OK?


Harry: Why do you think Julian would do something like this?
Vera: He's crazy, is that what you're thinking? Or he's been abused? Or that I pumped him full of Adderall and fed him junk food and video games? Or maybe he's just evil, is that it? My son is so far beyond anything you can understand, you have no idea.